Hicks, Twins rally to 4-3 victory over Orioles
Aaron Hicks ended an 0-for-13 skid with a tiebreaking RBI single in a two-run seventh inning, rallying the Minnesota Twins past the Baltimore Orioles 4-3 on Sunday.
J.J. Hardy homered for the Orioles, who dropped the final two games of the weekend set. It was their first series loss to the Twins since July 2010.
Trailing 3-2, the Twins started their comeback when Jason Hammel (1-1) plunked Trevor Plouffe on the left elbow leading off the seventh and Wilkin Ramirez followed with a single. After Brian Dozier's sacrifice bunt, pinch-hitter Chris Parmelee tied it with a sacrifice fly and Hicks got his go-ahead hit.
Anthony Swarzak (1-0), activated from the disabled list before the game after missing time with fractured ribs, pitched 1 1-3 innings of scoreless relief.
Glen Perkins pitched the ninth for his second save.
Hardy's two-run homer gave the Orioles the lead in a three-run second. Adam Jones drew a leadoff walk and one out later, Hardy lined a changeup from Pedro Hernandez into the seats in left-center for his second home run.
Nolan Reimold then singled, went to second on a groundout, Alexi Casilla walked and Nick Markakis made it 3-0 with a single.
The Twins loaded the bases against Hammel in the third on a pair of walks and a hit batter, and the Orioles starter appeared to be out of the inning when Justin Morneau lofted a two-out fly to center. But Jones appeared to lose the ball, which dropped for a two-run double.
Hernandez, recalled from Triple-A Rochester to start in place of the injured Cole De Vries, allowed three runs on four hits over five innings in his second major league start. He walked three and struck out three.
Hammel worked 6 2-3 innings, yielding four runs on four hits. He walked three and fanned three.
NOTES: De Vries (right forearm strain) was placed on the 15-day disabled list and LHP Tyler Robertson was optioned to Triple-A. ... Two injured Orioles on the DL - DH Wilson Betemit (right knee sprain) and 2B Brian Roberts (right hamstring strain) - will report to the team's spring training complex in Sarasota, Fla., this week for rehabilitation. ... When the Orioles play in Boston on Monday afternoon, it will be their third home opener of the season, following their own on Friday and the season opener in St. Petersburg, Fla., against the Rays on April 1. ... Carly Rae Jepsen of "Call Me Maybe" fame threw out the ceremonial first pitch. ... Hammel hit two batters, matching his total from 20 starts in 2012. ... Reimold left the game with right hamstring tightness after six innings.
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